Senior Dog Care

At seven your dog is considered a senior

Dogs and cats over seven years of age are senior citizens in human years. Everyone gets older, and our best friends age faster than we do.


How old is your dog in human terms?


Time flies when you’re having fun. But at seven years young, your dog is nearing his or her 50th year.

  • At 10 years old dogs have reached retirement age.
  • At 12 years old dogs have hit 77 in human years.

Your dog’s age in human years (age varies based on weight and care).

Our special friends need special care in their older years. Note: This table is an approximation. As a rule, larger breeds age faster than smaller breeds.

As with humans, the need for health care increases with age in dogs and cats too. Like us, animals suffer from aches and pains related to ageing – see signs to look out for – but veterinarians at Sydney Animal Hospitals can help you ensure that ageing isn’t a pain for your best friend.


What they can’t tell you

Common age related conditions in dogs:

  • reduced metabolism and changing nutritional needs
  • arthritis
  • dental disease
  • lumps and bumps
  • loss of hearing and/or visual impairment
  • kidney disease
  • heart disease
  • diabetes

Your dog may not be able to tell you when something is wrong. In fact, animals have evolved to hide signs of illness until it is quite advanced. See “signs to look out for” to learn if your dog is exhibiting any of these signs.

Veterinarians at Sydney Animal Hospitals are trained to identify and address age-related problems in pets. By identifying these problems at an early stage they can be managed to ensure that senior pets enjoy an excellent quality of life.


Signs to look out for

If your dog exhibits any of the signs below, it’s time to visit your veterinarian:

  • bad breath or difficulty eating
  • reluctance to walk or exercise
  • coughing or breathing difficulties
  • increased thirst or urination
  • lumps
  • red or watery eyes
  • changes in the skin or hair coat
  • a noticeable increase or decrease in body weight



Our approach

Sydney Animal Hospital’s approach to pet care in senior dogs

We recommend six-monthly check-ups

Age-related conditions can be managed successfully with early diagnosis. A year in your senior pet’s life is five years in the life of a senior citizen, so we schedule six-monthly wellness checks to give your senior pet the best possible care.

Our aim is to identify any existing conditions and establish a baseline for your pet’s health, acting as a reference point for any future changes. Our Wellness exams for senior pets include:

  • body condition score and weight check
  • heart and general cardiovascular check-up
  • musculoskeletal/arthritis check
  • dental health check
  • ophthalmology assessment
  • examination of skin and ears
  • assessment of lymph nodes
  • assessment of lumps and bumps
  • assessment of core body temperature
  • blood and urine screen (complete blood count, biochemistry including kidney and liver indicators, thyroid levels and urinalysis)
  • blood pressure check
  • day stay (if required)

We provide a personalised plan to ensure you’re in the best position to help your pet maintain optimum health. Our team will address any problems identified and consult with you on:

  • a lifestyle plan tailored to your senior pet
  • dental staging and recommended treatment
  • dietary recommendations
  • a schedule for any further tests or treatment.

Veterinarians at Sydney Animal Hospitals love dogs. We know how much your dog means to you, and we’re happy to develop a lifestyle plan that ensures your pet remains healthy and pain-free.

Contact a Sydney Animal Hospitals near you for more information on Senior Pet Wellness Plans for your pet.